NHL Trade Rumors: Ryan Smyth Would Be Crazy to Block Trade to New York Rangers

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 02: Ryan Smyth #94 of the Edmonton Oilers looks to pass against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on January 2, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Oilers defeated the Blackhawks 4-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The rumors have been flying around with the NHL's February 28th trade deadline approaching, and one that has gathered steam is the New York Rangers trading for Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers.

But Smyth has a no-trade clause in his contract, and if his comments recently are any indication, he may utilize it. Which is crazy talk, at least in my opinion.

First Smyth's comments, from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun:

“First I’ve heard of it,” said Smyth, when asked about a report from New York Post writer Larry Brooks suggesting he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Glen Sather’s first-place Rangers.

“Who’s Larry Brooks? I haven’t even really thought about it to be honest,” he continued. “They would have to approach me first and nobody’s approached me. It’s not something that I’ve thought much about.”

It may be as simple as Smyth tiring of playing in new cities.

“I’ve moved four times in the last five years,” he said. “I wanted to come back here for a reason?”

Now, Smyth might just be saying that in case he isn't traded. Openly commenting about how thrilled he would be get traded to the Rangers wouldn't exactly endear him to the Oilers faithful.

But if Smyth is serious and not simply waxing diplomatic, he's nuts. The Rangers have arguably been the best team in hockey this year and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference. They are legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are currently 13th in the Western Conference and are 11 points behind the eighth-place Minnesota Wild. Barring an epic stretch run, they're not making the playoffs this season.

So why wouldn't a player want to compete for a Stanley Cup? I mean, Smyth has never won one before and would pass up the opportunity because he's tired of moving? Doesn't he know why you play the game?

Or in this case, you play to win the Stanley Cup. It's probably now or never for Smyth's opportunities. If the Rangers come knocking, he should answer the door and head to the Big Apple.

Besides, his contract is up after this season. He can always return to Edmonton next year if he so desires.


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